Lancaster woman learned how to complete her degree after tragic loss
- Cheri Russo Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – 45-year old Tammy Fisher of Lancaster started taking college classes after high school, like she was expected to do. She was pursuing a Business Management degree. But then, she said, "life happened."
"I didn't think it was that important," said Fisher. "I already had a good job and didn't think I needed to finish the degree."
Fisher's daughter, Tori, was born with cystic fibrosis. The single mother had to travel all over the state for treatment while working at Fairfield County Developmental Disabilities as an individual budget specialist. In 2011, her daughter passed away at the age of 13. That is when Fisher heard about an information session at OUL on how to complete your degree. She attended the session and decided she needed to go back to school.
"I needed something to keep me busy, to keep my mind off of things," said Fisher. "I needed to occupy my time, and finishing my degree was a good way to do it. Tori endured so much. She continues to be my inspiration, and that's why I am determined to finish."
Ohio University Lancaster is trying to help adults like Fisher finish degrees that they started working on in the past. An informational session called "Start to Finish" will be held on Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m. The presentation will answer questions about the academic programs that can be completed at Ohio University Lancaster and will let those in attendance know what they need to do to get back into school.
"We wanted to reach out to those people who already have college credits and let them know that they may be able to achieve their academic and personal goals at Ohio University Lancaster.," said Student Support Advisor Phyllis Lanier. "This is an informational meeting, and, after the meeting, individual appointments may be set up with an academic advisor."
Fisher said coming back to school to finish her degree was a great decision, and she wants to encourage others to do the same. The completed degree could help them get a job or a promotion. A college degree can open doors that many never thought were possible.
"A lot of people started working on a degree and stopped for whatever reason," said Lanier. "What they don't realize is that, in some cases, they may only have a few requirements remaining to complete an associate's degree."
"Completing a degree gives the student a credential that they did not have before," said Transition Advisor Kim Jeffers. "It's a credential for job searches and promotions. Many people need a degree to qualify for a promotion, and they did not realize they were so close to being able to get the degree that is required."
Many topics will be covered at the presentation including admission procedures, applying transfer credit, applying for financial aid, degree options, and part-time or full-time enrollment.
Fisher is scheduled to complete her associate's degree in December, 2013, and her bachelor's degree the following December.
"It's tough, but it's doable," said Fisher. "The class schedules make it easy to work and take classes at the same time. It's worth looking into seeing what needs to be done to complete a degree."
"Start to Finish" will be held in Brasee Hall room 211 and is open to anyone who wants to attend.